Apple – Localizing the Message

Alan Turing and his half eaten apple.

Irrespective of the country that you are in, put the logo of a bitten apple and most people will immediately identify the brand. The two-dimensional outline of a half-eaten apple is synonymous globally with iPhones, MacBooks and technological innovation. Apple Inc. is one of the most well-known and valuable companies in the world and as of 2019, it is also the first company in history to have gained a market capitalization of over $1 trillion.

Apple's current product line

The company has always consciously kept the branding consistent. Strategizing the brand recognition that comes with the unchanged interface and hardware aesthetics as a strength and leveraging it as a sign of uniqueness. Think Apple and you think a specific look, technology whose ecosystem that you ‘buy' into instead of buying the product and configuring it your own way like with the other brands. But how does a brand that so consistently sticks to branding, reach the highly fragmented segments of their global markets. This is where Apple does a great job of localizing its message using seemingly simple but effective tweaks in its international market communication. Although Apple’s consistency may be veiled as a one-size-fits-all approach, the company’s localized branding for other countries makes it successful worldwide.

How the same Apple commercial ad is used in different countries.

Two such localization efforts that need to be highlighted are:

Website Communication: Try accessing the Apple website and the first prompt you will receive is to pick the region from where you are accessing the website. Apple offers localized products, marketing info and services to over 100 separate counties around the globe. Further local telephone numbers are presented in the header on every page and live chat options are presented in most languages during the checkout process.

In-store Point of Sales Communication: As of 2018, Apple Inc. was operating 506 retail stores in 25 different countries around the world, including the U.S., where it has retail stores in 44 out of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia. Slightly over half of them (272) are in the U.S. Brand Quarterly reports that an Apple VP of retail development said the brand tries to “make sure the store has an inviting appeal that matches its surrounding culture and environment. It’s about ‘getting out into the street’ and feeling what the local feels.” This includes franchising stores with regional partners who have a better understanding of the local market. Eg. Imagine – official Apple retail partners in India.

imagine – Apple premium retail store in Chennai, India
An apple store in the USA

Companies with a major global market usually tend to use social media for most of their Internation market communications. Contrary to this popular trend, Apple. Inc regardless of being a major global business uses very minimal social media communication. The company is almost non-existent on social media, with their twitter account having more than 959,000 followers but zero tweets. By using their personalised market communications, Apple has managed to circumvent the traditional international market communication channels but still reap the benifits of going international.